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Second Vatican Council: Mgr. Perca (Bucharest), “unknown in Romania for years. Important to rediscover its insights”

“We often hear about the Second Vatican Council, but this event is still unknown to many in Romania”, Archbishop Aurel Percă of Bucharest wrote in the editorial of the October issue of the diocesan monthly “Actualitatea creștină”. The Metropolitan recalled that the Second Vatican Council “took place at a time when the Church in Romania had no contact with the Holy See, the bishops and many priests and believers were in prison, and relations with other dioceses in the West were non-existent”. Moreover, listening to Vatican Radio was difficult and risky, and foreign publications were forbidden. Only two persons from Romania, the Ordinary of Oradea, Mgr Ladislau Hosszú, and the Apostolic Administrator of Iași, Mgr Petru Pleșca, were able to attended the session of 7 December 1965 and the closure of the Council the following day. In December of the same year, Mgr. Pleșca was also appointed bishop by Paul VI and consecrated in the Sistine Chapel by Card. Confalonieri, to facilitate the ordination of young priests. At that time, the only bishop at liberty in Romania was Mgr Márton Áron, who was under house arrest in the Archbishop’s Palace of Alba Iulia. “Much of our lives have been changed by the Second Vatican Council”, Mgr. Perca said in his editorial, adding that “returning to this event sixty years after its start has a special significance. It is important to rediscover the insights of the Second Vatican Council and to promote a Church with a synodal face”.

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